Published January 13, 2015
Suzann Pettersen carded a 3-under 69 in breezy conditions Thursday to grab a 1-stroke lead after two rounds of the LPGA LOTTE Championship.
Pettersen, who finished sixth at this event last year, ended 36 holes at 10- under-par 134. She set a new 36-hole scoring record. Defending champion Ai Miyazato and Azahara Munoz set the old mark of 136 in the event's first year last year.
Miyazato matched the low round of the day honors with her 4-under 68. That helped her jumped into second place at minus-9 at Ko Olina Golf Club.
Beatriz Recari (70), Hyo Joo Kim (71) and Hee Kyung Seo (72) share third place at 7-under 137. Stacy Lewis (71) is alone in sixth at minus-6.
First-round leader Ariya Jutanugarn struggled to a 3-over 75 as the trade winds kicked up on Thursday. She fell into a tie for seventh at 5-under 139.
Pettersen parred her first three holes before converting a birdie effort on the par-3 fourth. She parred the next five holes to make the turn at minus-8, one behind Miyazato.
The 32-year-old Pettersen stumbled to a bogey on the 10th, but bounced right back with a birdie on No. 11.
The 10-time LPGA Tour winner grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie on the par-5 13th. Pettersen moved out in front at the 16th with another birdie. She closed with a pair of pars to end one clear.
"I think overall it's been very fair conditions for the entire field today. I think it was blowing quite hard from early morning, and it's been pretty steady throughout the day," Pettersen. "At least the entire field played under the same conditions. It was definitely tough out there. The range is the most exposed part, so warming up was almost the toughest.
"Then playing the course, just really trying to play the course, what it gives us. There are certain holes you can take advantage of, and then others that par is a good score."
Miyazato had an inconsistent start to her round. She bogeyed the 10th, 12th and 14th, but atoned for two of those mistakes with birdies at 11 and 15.
The reigning champion settled in with five pars in a row around the turn, where she caught fire.
Miyazato rolled in a 12-foot birdie try on the par-4 third. She followed with a long right-to-left breaking birdie putt on fourth and made it three in row as her 7-foot birdie attempt at the fifth found the bottom of the cup.
After a par on the sixth, Miyazato moved to 9-under with back-to-back birdies at seven and eight. She closed with a par at the last and walked off with a 2- stroke lead, but Pettersen caught her later in the day.
"It was definitely windier than yesterday so it was pretty tough out there. The first couple holes it was kind of up and down because I made birdie and bogey and birdie and bogey. It was kind of roller coaster," Miyazato said. "After that, I felt like more used with this wind. Then the back nine, I just made great putts out there. It was great feeling."
NOTES: With the wind blowing stronger on Thursday than it had on Wednesday, there were just five rounds in the 60s and four rounds in the 80s ... The cut line was 2-over 146 with 77 players advancing to the weekend ... Among those missing the cut were Laura Davies, Cristie Kerr and Laura Diaz, who all shot 76 in round two, as well as Sophie Gustafson, Juli Inkster and Hee Won Han.